Digital note-taking gets high marks

My, how life for college students has changed since the days of blue books, No. 2 pencils and liquid-paper-encrusted term papers.

To wit, Tegrity Campus, a software system that merges old-fashioned handwritten note-taking with multimedia presentations to help students get the most out of university lectures.

Tegrity Campus

It works like this: Students take notes on regular paper just like they did back in the '80s, only they do so using Tegrity's special digital pen (which features camera technology on its tip), or, alternately, a tablet or notebook. Lectures, meanwhile, are automatically recorded and archived on the participating university's Web site.

Students get online to synchronize their notes with the recorded lecture. The scrawls show up just as they look in the student's notebook. If, while studying, pupils come across something they don't understand or remember, they can click on that part of their digital notes to bring up the corresponding portion of the professor's recorded lecture (film, audio, video, PowerPoint presentation, and so on). Time stamps make the synchronicity possible. Students can also replay entire classes online or on their iPods.

Tegrity is a privately held company in Santa Clara, Calif., with a technology development center in Yehud, Israel. Schools that use Tegrity Campus include Tulane University in New Orleans, Coppin State University in Baltimore, Santa Clara University, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical and Colorado Technical University.

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